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Gilt bronze Buddha statue dated by an inscription on the base to 338 CE. This is the earliest known dated Buddha image made in China and, according to the museum, appears in almost every major publication on early Chinese Buddhist sculpture. Its style is influenced by that of the Gandhara region (parts of modern-day Pakistan, Afghanistan and NW India), which traveled along the Silk Road to China.
Seated Buddha Reaching Enlightenment, 11th–12th century. Central Tibet. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. (2012.458) | In Tibet the Buddha images from the 11th and 12th centuries reflect a deep interest in capturing the Buddha’s likeness as it was preserved in north India. Here great emphasis is placed on the Buddha’s humanity as can be seen in the sensitive treatment of his hands, feet and body.
Buddha with a topknot. Gandhara was the region that lies between N.W Pakistan and E. Afghanistan. first mentioned in a text in the 9th C. BCE. Over the next 900 years the region was conquered by Alexander the Great, the Indian Mauryan dynasty, the Parthians, the Indo-Greeks, and finally the Central Asian Kushan Empire. This complex history, with its many cultural influences, formed the foundation for a region where Buddhism flourished and the basis for some of the earlier images of Buddha.